It's no secret that Calgary needs to make some changes, and word on the street is Jay Bouwmeester may be available. Speculation started when new Flames coach, Bob Hartley, left Bouwmeester's name out on a list of his team's core players. It may have just been an oversight, but Bouwmeester hasn't really performed to his contract since joining the Flames in 2009-2010. Before that season, Bouwmeester scored 10+ goals for three straight seasons with the Florida Panthers, and was one of the few positives on those struggling Panthers teams. Since signing a 5-year deal with the Flames that has an annual cap hit of $6.68 million/season, Bouwmeester has had seasons of 3, 4 and 5 goals respectively. He has been a minus player all three seasons, going minus-21 last season with the Flames.
Despite his struggles with the Flames, Bouwmeester boasts good size at 6'4" and 212 lbs. Bouwmeester is a strong skater that can move the puck well. The Flames may not have been the right fit for Bouwmeester, but at 28 years of age, he's still at the prime age for a defenseman in the NHL. His contract has two years remaining, and for teams needing to get to the cap floor, presents an opportunity to meet the league's salary cap requirements.
That's where Colorado comes in. While it's unclear if Flames GM, Jay Feaster would move Bouwmeester within the same division, the Avs would make an ideal trading partner for Feaster. GM Greg Sherman has shown a desire to bring in bigger, mobile defenseman and Bouwmeester fits that mold. He would pair with Erik Johnson very nicely on the first unit, and after coming off a career worst minus-21, his value has never been lower which should make acquiring him easier. His cap hit will by no means be a value at $6.68 million but that deal only has two years left, and the Avs have plenty of cap space to still fit Bouwmeester in.
While the obvious preference would be to sign a defenseman like Matt Carle or Ryan Suter and not give up assets, Bouwmeester would be a great alternative especially given the possibility that Shane O'Brien may leave this offseason. A change of scenery would do Bouwmeester well and let's not forget the fact that he's very durable, playing in 82 games each of the past 7 seasons while eating up a large amount of ice time.
Depth Chart (assuming SOB moves on)
Erik Johnson - Jay Bouwmeester
Ryan O'Byrne - Stefan Elliott
I see him as a good fit (provided we don't sign Carle). Do you agree???